Abney Park Cemetery

Abney Park is one of Hackney’s finest green spaces and is listed as a Grade II park on Historic England’s register of parks and gardens of historic interest.

As one of London’s ‘Magnificent 7’ garden cemeteries, it opened in 1840 and is the resting place of around 200,000 people in 60,000 graves. They have memorials ranging from elaborate monuments to pathside common grave markers.

It covers 12.5 hectares and is located between Stoke Newington Church Street and Stoke Newington High Street.


Abney Park restoration project

A project to conserve and develop all aspects of the park including its built and natural heritage with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF)is due to be completed in 2024.

We’ve brought the historic chapel back into use as a venue. A new cafe and community room will open at the park’s main entrance in 2024. There’s a new accessible entrance on Church Street, and improved signage throughout the park. Although there have been major improvements, the valuable and much loved haven for trees, plants, and wildlife remains intact.

Abney Park Trust

Abney Park Trust is a charity based at Abney and works in partnership with us. They run walks, tours and events which celebrate the heritage of Abney Park. They also maintain private and commonwealth war graves and conduct grave searches for the public by appointment. You can contact them by email: info@abneypark.org.

Events and activities

Abney Park Trust puts on a range of events, activities and walking tours of the cemetery on different topics.  These help reveal the many hidden stories of Abney.

For more information and to sign up to its newsletter, visit Abney Park Trust.


There are several ways you can get involved in helping us care for Abney Park as a volunteer.

Litter picking takes place on the first saturday of the month 10am to 12pm.

Conservation volunteering takes place every Thursday 9.30am to 1pm.

Grave maintenance volunteering takes place every Wednesday 11am to 1pm.

Abney unearthed takes place every Tuesday 10am to 2pm.

Corporate volunteering is on hold until after the restoration project is complete.

Email info@abneypark.org if you would like to enquire about volunteering.

New Abney Park cafe

As part of the restoration project, we have built a new cafe facility behind the historic lodge building. It is on the right hand side of the main entrance. It will provide a place to get refreshments, relax, and meet with friends and family. Additionally, it will be an important source of income to help fund future park management and maintenance. The cafe is due to open in summer 2024.

Abney Unearthed

The Abney Unearthed project aims to research, map and learn about the people buried in Abney Park when the park operated as a commercial cemetery from 1840 to the late 1970s.

The volunteer based project is funded by the NLHF and will run until at least September 2024.

For more information see Abney Unearthed.

Find out if someone is buried in Abney Park

It can be very difficult to find a grave even with a plot number – the ground around the graves can be uneven and overgrown. We recommend you book an appointment with Abney Park Trust who will come with you if you are searching for a specific grave. Email info@abneypark.org to enquire about finding a grave.

If you decide to explore without our help, please bear in mind that, as well as a memorial park, Abney Park is also a nature reserve and an important site for a variety of plants and wildlife – so please take care not to damage the memorials or disturb the vegetation or habitats.

Abney Unearthed is working hard to replace as much missing information as possible by checking every grave, but there are still some gaps in the burial information:

  • records for May 1970 – May 1974 and May 1978 – March 1979 are missing
  • records for Jan 1935 – March 1936 are missing
  • records for Jan 1903 to Jan 1904 are missing
  • not all plot numbers are on the maps
  • not all burials are marked or have a headstone
  • common graves are often unmarked and we are unable to locate any prior to 1918

Common graves are also often unmarked on the plot maps but we do have some knowledge of their locations. Abney Unearthed has so far added around 200 common graves to the plot maps.


No longer a working cemetery, Abney Park is run as a park and is a site of metropolitan importance for biodiversity. It’s one of London’s most central woodlands and an important site for deadwood invertebrates and fungi.

The site was formed in 1840 from the estates of Fleetwood House and Abney House. Abney House had been the home of renowned non-conformist and hymn writer Isaac Watts, which led to Abney Park becoming the foremost burial ground for Dissenters – people who practised their religion outside the established church.

It was founded on these principles, with a non-denominational chapel, and was open to all, regardless of their religion – it’s the only one of the Magnificent 7 that’s not consecrated.

The cemetery was designated a local nature reserve in 1993 due to its value for people and wildlife. It’s also a metropolitan site of importance for nature conservation, meaning that it’s one of the most important sites for biodiversity in London.

It’s home to an impressive collection of trees, as it was originally laid out around 1840 as an arboretum – a labelled tree collection.

View the illustrated timeline of Abney Park’s history (PDF 12mb)


Abney Park Cemetery has around 200 old trees in it. In 1840 the site was planted as an arboretum of exotic trees by Hackney’s famous Loddiges nursery. Several rare and interesting old trees remain from this period. As the cemetery business declined in the 20th century, the woodland seeded itself and the reserve is now one of London’s most important sites for wildlife.

The concentration of old trees, excellent deadwood habitats, and the fact that the site has never been built on, make Abney Park a priceless inner London haven for invertebrates and fungi. Bats, tawny owls, sparrowhawks, wood mice and bank voles also find homes here.

The Abney Park Veteran Tree Project was created in 2009 in recognition of the importance of the old trees. The project was funded by the London Tree and Woodland Grant Scheme.

Further reading

Weather closures

During high winds or rain we may need to close Abney Park, we make the decision based on the MET Office weather warning system. Anything from a yellow warning upwards will mean we close the park. Once the warning has been lifted, we keep the park closed until we clear any hazards and pass a safety check. This may mean the park is closed whilst there is no weather danger but the priority is making it safe for its users.


There’s an abundance of wildlife in Abney Park Cemetery. A local amateur naturalist has produced some drawings of the birds and butterflies that are present there:

View butterflies PDF (737kb)

View birds (PDF 1mb)

View wildlife (PDF 202kb)

View trees (PDF 201kb)

View veteran trees (PDF 450kb)

The ecology of Abney Park

Filming and photoshoots

Abney Park is a unique and atmospheric place and has provided a backdrop for films, music videos and other media. If you’d like to film in Abney Park, contact our film office.

Safety checks

The cemetery dates back to 1840 and there are a large number of memorials, some of which are very old and need to be inspected to make sure they’re safe.

As the gravestones and memorials are inspected, some may need to be cordoned off or occasionally laid flat. Families of the deceased whose graves are affected will be informed where possible. When visiting the cemetery please stay on the paths and observe the safety notices.

Respecting Abney Park

Abney Park is a nature reserve and historic parks. We ask all visitors to respect our park and keep themselves and others safe by:

  • not climbing on monuments or trees
  • not starting fires of barbecues
  • not foraging
  • keeping dogs under control and cleaning up after them
  • keeping to the paths
Page updated on: 6 June 2024

Abney Park Cemetery


South Lodge
Abney Park Cemetery
Stoke Newington High Street
N16 0LH


  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 9am to 5pm, Wednesday – 9am to 4pm
    020 8356 3000


Abney Park Cemetery opens at 8am throughout the year.

Closing times:

1 January to 21 January – 4pm

22 January to 4 February – 4.30pm

5 February to 25 February – 5pm

26 February to 10 March – 5.30pm

11 March to 24 March – 6pm

25 March to 7 April – 7pm

8 April to 21 April – 7:30pm

22 April to 5 May – 8pm

6 May to 11 August – 8.30pm

12 August to 18 August – 8pm

19 August to 8 September – 7.30pm

9 September to 15 September – 7pm

16 September to 6 October – 6.30pm

7 October to 13 October – 6pm

14 October to 27 October – 5.30pm

28 October to 31 December – 4pm